Diversity in science communication (aka SciComm) is necessary for efficacy, particularly when a goal is to reach different audiences. Not only are diverse methods of delivery important, but diversity of communicators is important too.
A great example is Henry Foster, an 11-year-old boy from Arkansas who wanted to make his favorite fish, the Alligator Gar, the state fish. What followed was more than a year of campaigning (from elementary school students to state lawmakers) to raise awareness of one of North America’s largest freshwater fishes. Read further to learn more about #GARkansas and the “next generation” of SciComm.
Spoiler Alert: Henry and his supporters were successful, and the state primitive fish of Arkansas is officially the Alligator Gar! Thanks to fisheries scientists with Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Henry even got in the field with some Alligator Gars (photos used with permission).
My good friend and fellow science communicator colleague, Matthew Miller (director of science communications for The Nature Conservancy), also chatted with Henry, which you can read here.
I hope Henry’s story serves as inspiration to those looking for hope in the next generation(s), both as stewards of our environment, and as science communicators!